Schlumberger Ltd. and Smith International Inc. jointly announce that their boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement in which the companies would combine in a stock-for-stock transaction.

Andrew Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Schlumberger, remarks, “At our investor event in September 2008, we highlighted that increased levels of drilling are required to sustain and increase world oil and gas production. Increasingly, those wells are being drilled in more challenging environments and in new resource plays, with longer and more complex profiles. Schlumberger is already the leader in the measurement and steering technologies that are necessary to drill these profiles.

”We firmly believe, however, that the next breakthrough will be through engineered drilling systems that optimize all the components of the drillstring, allowing our customers to drill more economically in demanding conditions. This step change in drilling performance and well productivity must come from combining measurement and steering capabilities with the engineering and design of the complete bottom-hole assembly and its various components – including the drilling fluids and drillbit – with the hydraulic and mechanical environment in which they operate.

”Smith’s drilling technologies, other products and expertise complement our own, while the geographical footprint of Schlumberger means we can extend our joint offerings worldwide. We believe this transaction brings significant benefits to the customers and shareholders of both companies, and we look forward to welcoming Smith employees to Schlumberger.”

John Yearwood, chief executive officer of Smith, comments, “This transaction brings our shareholders significant value and the opportunity to integrate with and own a meaningful share of a recognized technology leader in an extensive number of fields. Schlumberger offers Smith’s various segments enhanced engineering and design capability to place our products and expertise at the center of the total drilling system of the future. We look forward to a successful combination with Schlumberger, and have no doubt that our customers will see accelerated technology development and that our employees will enjoy enhanced opportunities.”

The transaction is subject to various conditions, including Smith stockholder approval and customary regulatory approvals, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. It is anticipated that the closing of the transaction will occur in the latter half of 2010.